Capstone Classic Laceups

October 5, 2009

This incredible, new “Leo” boot from Novacas is a landmark in mens’ vegan shoes. This is what we’ve been waiting for! A simple, classic lace up boot that looks great casually half-laced with a pair of fitted jeans, or laced up completely under slacks. Thanks for setting a new standard, Novacas! Thanks to reader, Adnan for the tip!

Available at Moo Shoes for $159

The Do-Good Dad: Father’s Day Guide

June 16, 2009

Father’s Day is this Sunday. If you haven’t gotten anything for dear old dad yet, in addition to making a donation to your favorite organization in your father’s name, here are some good gift ideas:

Bid on one of a million amazing things at CharityBuzz. Check out the Dads & Grads auction. From hanging out with Patrick Dempsey at Daytona to meeting Bill Clinton, sitting in box seats at the US Open, watching the Yankees play the Red Sox, taking a swimming clinic with Michael Phelps, or a Kenny Chesney autographed Guitar! There is more cool stuff than I can list here. Just don’t bid on the fishing trip. Ugh.

Item Photo Item Photo Item Photo

Item Photo

BREAK THE BANK! If you are loaded, your dad might like a Tesla Roadster (starts at $101,000) or Model S – both electric performance vehicles from Tesla Motors. The Model S is capable of rocketing from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and traveling up to 300 miles on a single 45 minute charge (starts at $49,900 which is not that bad)!

tesla model-s, Tesla Sedan, Tesla electric vehicle, tesla model S revealed, electric sedan, Tesla roadster, green design, sustainable design, green transportation

For the rest of us who can only afford to splurge a little bit…

Organic Dress Shirts form CULTURATA (check for local stockists)

Matt & Nat Mens’ Accessories: Shop HERE.

Or if you’re in NYC, go to this event:



Make a donation to Mercy For Animals before Father’s Day on June 21st and Rory Freedman, co-author of Skinny Bastard will match your contribution, dollar-for-dollar – totaling up to $5,000! Donate $100 or more and you will receive an autographed copy of Skinny Bastard – a guide for macho men on eating well and getting in shape the healthy and cruelty-free way!

Get dad into shape w/ The Engine 2 Diet, Thrive in 30, and Skinny Bastard!

Kicks! Check out our favs for dad from Bourgeois Boheme, NOHARM, and NOVACAS: Product Details

A Recycled Billboard “George Dopp Kit







Organic Grooming from Dr Bronner, and Herban Cowboy!

Organic Grooming - Men's Body Care Gift Set

Searching for Zac Efron: Or, My Quest for Clear Skin

June 3, 2009

By featured contributor, Dustin Garrett Rhodes

You know the expression, “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone”? That’s the story of my skin. I won’t bore anyone or wax poetic about the perfection that was my epidermis throughout my teen years. I didn’t know I was a lucky boy who escaped the evil rite of passage that is acne. I’ve paid dearly for having yearbook photos that aren’t embarrassing except for the bleached-white, spiky hair.

In my mid-20’s, and literally out of nowhere, my skin turned on me—an exacting revenge that was determined and unrelenting. My face exploded—a bomb of crimson red, angry looking zits all over my face; zits that would plague me for countless years. Little did I know that finding a solution for acne would be like trying to make a vegan cheese that doesn’t smell, taste and look like a half-melted yellow crayon.

When acne struck, I was Mr. All Natural and Organic. My entire life was about the power of the organic essential oil. I was cleaning my toilet and my face with, essentially, the same products. I bought into the myth that if it is “natural,” then it is good. I was convinced that some special, secret combination of lavender oil and unrefined organic coconut oil would save the world and my ugly face.

I literally spent thousands of dollars over the course of several very long years seeing dermatologists, acupuncturists, homeopaths and even chiropractors—an odd mix of people upon whom I projected magical powers. I constantly invented new theories for my acne—one week I was convinced my body was out of alignment and I got treatments by a polarity therapist and energetic chiropractor (seriously!), and the next I knew my Chi was fucked up, and I’d be laying face up with needles shoved into my knees and forehead. I did the Master Cleanse fast and rubbed god-knows-what on my face as prescribed by y non-English speaking acupuncturist (whom I loved dearly). Of course, it made perfect sense at the time that torturing myself would lead to zit-free beauty. Then, I’d eventually end right back at the dermatologist’s office where I started; they’d give me a new prescription full of toxic, cancer causing chemicals that had been squeezed into the eyes of bunnies, and it wouldn’t work as promised anyway, and then I would have been wracked with guilt for the rest of my life over the bunnies, and … .

Rinse and repeat.

All of it was embarrassing, exhausting, expensive and ultimately futile: my skin was determined to fuck me over until the bitter end.

The bitter end came in a grand, almost religious moment—a couple of days after I started using a new cream that was guaranteed to give me a, smooth face, which I was also hoping would resemble Zac Efron’s (let’s forget the fact that in reality, Zac Efron would have been, like, two when this was occurring). I was slathering some, supposedly, all natural plant-based brew on my face when, moments later, it appeared as though I’d been doused with battery acid. That’s when Jesus (or his Jewish-Buddhist step-cousin) spoke to me: “Thou shalt stop making your skin worse by putting things on it that are bad.” It became my mission in life to learn about skincare products, and that search took me places I never thought I’d go.

Fortunately for me, someone already made this her mission in life (inspired by acne, like myself)—Paula Begoun, the author of The Beauty Bible and Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me. I discovered her books in a local bookstore, and—pardon my while I sound like Cher in an infomercial—they changed my life forever.

Paula Begoun has spent three decades researching skincare—attempting to sort fact from fiction. The fiction is almost everything we are told about skincare products and what they can do—and what they can’t.  I also learned about natural versus synthetic ingredients—and how one is not inherently preferable or more efficacious over one that was developed in a petri dish in a laboratory. And not only that: consumers have been fed a pack of outright lies by companies that claim to be all-natural—because everyone uses preservatives and synthetic ingredients. It’s impossible not to. That’s not to mention: the process that turns a plant into an “all natural” ingredient in a cosmetic or skincare product is anything but natural. Trust me: no one is picking the leaf right off of an aloe vera plant and sticking it onto a jar!

One Step Face CleanserExfoliating 2% BHA GelBlemish Fighting SolutionSkin Balancing Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate (Serum)

I put all of Begoun’s research to good use immediately: I stopped using any skincare products with essential oils, fragrance (of any kind), and anything that was not in stable, airtight packaging (air causes antioxidants in products to deteriorate in products almost immediately). I stopped using anything occlusive or products that contained alcohol or dyes. I was 100% compliant; I only used products that Paula herself recommended—and guess what? My skin was, almost miraculously, clear—for the first time since I was a teenager!

Cue the violins and soft piano.

Paula's Choice

Paula Begoun has been making her own products for many years now, and I believe they are incredible. Many of them are vegan, and none are tested on animals. They make no outlandish claims, are sold in stable, air-tight packaging, and contain impressive levels of antioxidants and skin-identical substances—all of which equal radiant skin. Her acne regimen is unparalleled.

I am constantly seeing recommendations for “all natural” or “organic” skin care lines on blogs (including this one) and other places on the web. I beg people who are interested in taking care of their skin to not take any company’s word on skin care—much less the advice of a non-professional (including myself, at the end of the day). And even if a product doesn’t irritate in an obvious way, it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s good for your skin! Some people are made of steel; others, like myself, can’t even bear having our skin looked at the wrong way!

My acne, incidentally, was not caused by the crappy products I was using; they simply exacerbated an already existing problem. All these years later, I still have to do more than most people to simply have clear skin. And I wish I could tell you I didn’t care, but that would also be false.

Just for the record, in case you are waiting for me to tell you I now look like Zac Afron, well, sadly, I don’t. Nor do I look like his step-cousin. However, I do have clear skin that requires daily maintenance and good air-brushing—just like Zac!

And so can you.


Dustin Rhodes is a writer and animal rights advocate living in Washington, D.C. He works for Friends of Animals.

I encourage everyone to visit: and Paula has an information page on her website stating which of her own products don’t contain animal ingredients. Ceramides and cholesterol (as well as beeswax) are present in a few products, and these ingredients are not vegan.

She also maintains a comprehensive website that evaluates the efficacy of thousands of products at:

From Paula’s own line of products, I personally recommend, and have found phenomenal success with the following products for those suffering from oily and/or acne-prone skin; all of these products are vegan:

  1. One Step Face Cleanser:
  2. 2% Beta Hydroxy Gel or Liquid (I prefer the gel):
  3. 2.5% Blemish Fighting Solution:
  4. Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate:
  5. Skin Balancing Mattifying Lotion with SPF 15:

Ethical Exploits Vol. 2

May 22, 2009

The ups, downs, ins, outs, disappointments, and triumphs of a day-to-day ethical living.
By Featured Contributor, Matt Lara

There are a hundred-and-one reasons for guys to take care of their skin and hair, but so many of the products on the market are toxic, full of animal ingredients, or still perform horrible and needless tests on animals that it makes us want to give up grooming and be crust-punks!

Realizing that dreadlocks and gamy odors were not for me, I decided to do some overhaul in the grooming department. Bathroom shelf, meet your new cruelty-free, earth-conscious friends:

Triple RazorThe first to go was that turbo-thingy razor that came free in my mailbox after high school graduation. Instead of shoveling out big bucks for more tiny replacement cartridges that are made by a company burning the eyes and skin of rabbits, I happily spent my money on a new Preserve Triple Razor. The shave is just as good, and there are some other great things to consider about Preserve Products besides smooth cheeks. I also switched to lavender and shea Moisture Shave from Kiss My Face. Now everyone wants to kiss my face. Now if they’d only make something so everyone would kiss my ass…

Also, if you’re a manly-man like me and use manly-man things like toner, consider my other big switch in the grooming department: organic cotton balls. If you are not using a spray-toner, these are great! Are they cost-effective? With cotton being one of the most highly-sprayed crops, and the price the environment pays for our single-use puffs, yes they are worth the extra dollar or two. Plus, the quality is actually better, and you’ll like that for your hunky mug.

Organic Essentials Cotton Balls Triple Size

Revitalizing Eye Cream from Avalon Organics is one of my new staples. Say what you want, I’m conscious of my smile lines! I can still feel this stuff moisturizing and firming even at the end of my most tired days. I’m also a sucker for the Soothing Lip Balm for some smooth smackers without the girlie, glossy look.

I can think of so many uses for tea trea oil, and with Trader Joe’s putting it in shampoo, I am so there. Tea Tree Tingle is quite an experience with every wash. For styling, I find David Babaii for Wildaid to be wonderful. Their motto is “It’s beautiful to be good,” and I couldn’t agree more. 10% of their profits are donated to Wildaid to help with wildlife conservation. I use their Bohemian Beach Spray and the Fibers Molding Paste.

Fibers Molding Paste

There are several product lines like Organic Grooming by Herban Cowboy, and JASON which Joshua covered in THIS POST that make men’s grooming products, so check them out too!

Finally, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has an excellent podcast episode dedicated to the compassionate bathroom. And hey, I didn’t buy all this stuff at once. Purchasing just one of these products is helping make for a more compassionate world.

Happy grooming!

-Matt Lara


Matt is an actor, singer, closet poet, dancer, avid reader, guitar picker, waiter, home cook, nosey coffee shop guy, animal lover…he basically has to know how to do everything. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Fresh Friday Finds

March 5, 2009

1. Viori’s Tees and Scarves, 100% US-grown organic cotton, water-based inks, made fairly in the USA.

Vuori Stone Scarf

2. NY Coalition for Healthy School Lunches is an organization that promotes plant-based farm-to-school nutritional and educational implementation. I had a chance to go eat a delicious, vegan meal with the kids in Harlem last week, and I have to say that the menu, which was designed by a collaboration between Candle 79 and the school, was really yummy! Find out how you can get involved by clicking below:


3. Reware’s JuiceBag ES300 Solar Messenger charges iPods, Cell Phones, GPS, Cameras, etc, and is made from recycled soda bottles.

4. Refinding’s reclaimed accessories, made from reclaimed materials like trading cards, nylon, matchbooks, and type-writer keys.

5. Abuse of Primates in Research Labs exposed on ABC’s NIGHTLINE. If you missed it on TV, read the article at Read also about why animal experimentation is so inneffective from a woman undergoing cancer treatment, and watch the Nightline video below:


6. Sameunderneath Knit Blazer  on Sale, 75% organic cotton, 25% polyester

7. HBO premieres the documentary “Death on a Factory Farm”. Get program schedule here. Watch a clip from the doc:

8. Of The Earth organic cotton hoodies.

9. Veg News weighs in on obstacles to estimating the number of veg kids. The CDC fails at surveying. Read the article:

10. Do you ever have a clogged drain and you end up buying the toxic, animal-tsted Draino? Finally there’s a pure, natural environmentally-friendly, enzyme-producing bacteria that liquefies grease, fats, and other organic wastes and controls odors in drains, garbage disposals, and septic systems. Earthworm! What’s best? It’s only five bucks at

Prelovers, Superfoods, Fur Foibles, & Veganic Farming

February 24, 2009

from the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

From the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

PRELOVED held their first US in-store event on Sunday evening at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn boutique, ALTER. The Spring ‘o9 collection is made entirely of reclaimed items like bed sheets, shirts, suiting, and even curtains! These items would otherwise end up in a landfill, and have been reconstucted into really gorgeous garments for ladies and gentalmen, alike. Founder and CEO,  Julia Grieve told me that she never intended to be an environemntalist, she just liked working with reclaimed fabrics. But now, as Preloved heads to the forefront of the green-fashion movement, she realized the importence and gravity of making sustainability ‘cool’. Nothing says sustainable like turning trash into gorgeous, head-turning garments. You won’t find find any granola on their runway!

The Zuri Tee $169.00 at ALTER

The line does include wool, but it is recycled from old sweaters that would otherwise be garbage. I’m not going to be complaining about it. Hopefully this trend will catch on, and with styles as awesome as the Zuri Tee, who can resist?

ALTER consists of two boutiques across the street from eachother in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned and operated by Roy Caires and Tommy Cole, they carry a great selection of eco and veg-friendly items incuding their own repurposed line “This Old Thing?” as well as Matt & Nat accessories, Melissa shoes, and they have more coming! ALTER is carrying the women’s collecion for Preloved currently, and will be carring the men’s collection within a few weeks.

Speaking of Matt & Nat, I love their new vegan, canvas, Bauhaus bag with 100% recycled lining.canvas-men_lo bauhaus_2

gg125x125.jpgGirlie Girl Army shows us how to get superpowers from superfoods! This is a 101 for anyone who wants to know the basics of the superfood phenomenon! This is for dudes too! Wanna stop chugging sugary, milk-protein-laden workout ‘food’ and get a longer-lasting, healthy high for that extra curl, press, or pull-up? Try these foods! Also, if you didn’t hear Chloe’s sexy visit to the boys at Hot97, click here.

Veganic farming is wha…? Veganic farming takes organic farming and brings it to it’s logical conclusion. Who wants to eat organic potatoes that grew in factory-farm feces and blood? Ugh..  the vegan permaculture movement is taking hold! The Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY is one successful example. Check out their funny video here, and stay tuned for more updates on the veganic farming movement:

FICA is full of it. The ‘Fur Information Council of America’ insists that fur is the “natural, responsible choice“.


If you’ve already started rolling your eyes or laughing, you are not alone. In WWD, for the final day of NY Fashion Week (The Feb 20th, 2009 issue), FICA paid for an ad that was disguised as a part of the paper to make it seem as though fur garments were heavily talked-about in the publication.


In fact, aside from one shawl by Issac Mizrahiny, there wouldn’t have been any fur in the publication that day. Boo hiss to Issac for his hideous new fur collection. Also watch his attempt to lose weight eating “vegan” M&Ms.


"Peanut M&M's are vegan" ...right

Robert Verdi PictureAlso boo, hiss to TV Host and supposed ‘style expert’, Robert Verdi who I spotted in the lobby, surrounded by plastic fur-hags, wearing this atrocious hood (Did his Court-Dress wig fall back, or was he going for the evil Skeksis look?).

Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal"

Tim Gunn should give them both a stern talking-to in the ways of educated and compassionate elegance. The only way to look like a bigger jerk is to have tan-lines in the shape of aviators on your head. Oh wait…

What I love (and by love, I mean hate) about FICA’s pretty-in-pink website is the total avoidance of ever mentioning an animal oustside of abstractions like “species” or “populations”. If they did acknowlegde that individual animals with brains and nervous systems existed, they’d have to follow through with logic that would contradict their reference of animals as “natural resources” to be used “responsibly”. I won’t even make the historical comparisons, you can do that yourself.

Fresh Friday Finds

October 24, 2008

1. Mrs. Palin is not the only one going on a shopping spree.
According to the Caucus (NYT Blog), in addition to Sarah Palin’s $150,000 shopping spree, “Consider also the $4,902.45 charge at Atelier New York, a high-end men’s store, presumably for Ms. Palin’s husband, Todd, the famous First Dude.”

2. Rickshaw ZERO

This ‘Zero Waste Messenger Bag‘ is manufactured to produce absolutely no waste. It’s nylon design also makes it 100% recyclable. For a mere $50, if you need a good bag, this one’s got your name on it. Mark Dwight, Rickshaw founder and CEO, explains “We took a three-pronged approach to this design – eliminate manufacturing waste, minimize the supply chain footprint, and make the bag from a single material.” Dwight is a student of William McDonough’s Cradle-To-Cradle sustainable manufacturing philosophy, and wanted to create a mono-polymer product – in this case a “pure-play in nylon”. “This entire bag can go right into the shredder for recycling into carpet or some other nylon regrind product,” explained Dwight.

3. Timberland’s “Earthkeepers” Shoeline Still Stuck in the Leather-Trap.

Is it possible to have ‘eco-leather’? Not so much. It is possible for leather to be made with less toxic chemicals, but that does absolutely nothing to counter what the top United Nations climatologists have deemed the #1 cause of global warming: animal agriculture AKA meat & dairy production. Combine that with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity from raising cattle. With leather being “the most economically important byproduct” of the meatpacking industry, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, you can’t have leather without the rest of the whole mess. Timberland’s use of recycled materials, and organic canvass is a big boot-step in the right direction, but they’ve got to lose the leather! Check out their uber greenwashed site here: Earthkeepers. For more on leather check out THIS.

4. Vegan DHA

Finally! A completely vegetarian softgel, fish-free source of DHA! DHA is an important brain nutrient and, with diet and exercise, has been found to support a healthy heart. Low levels of DHA result in reduction of brain serotonin levels and have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating such diseases. Get it at your local health food store!

5. Suki Toner!

There’s no shame in a man getting that supple glow. Suki’s concentrated balancing toner is made with white willow salicins, vitamin C, and polypeptides, and it’s my new favorite product.  It’s great for after shaving, or for sensitive, dry, or acne-prone skin. 100% vegan, not tested on animals, and organic.



6. Juicy Couture Pledges to go Fur-Free!

Click HERE to thank them.The company has pledged to PETA that they will no longer sell fur, starting in 2009. Also, get involved in Fur-Free-Friday this year!

7. Halloween Candy!

Cosmos’ Vegan Shoppe has a nice selection of vegan Halloween Candy including chocolates, gummies, almond and peanut butter cups, and candy drops. There’ still time to order for the 31st, but hurry up!

8. Greener Printer
GreenerPrinter Eco-friendly Printing
I just had my new business cards printed at a wind-powered facility that uses vegetable-based inks and recycled paper. Why settle for anything less? Next time you have a print project, check out GREENER PRINTER.

9. EBAY Bans Ivory Sales

eBay has just announced that it will be instituting a global ban on the sale of elephant ivory products.
eBay’s decision was announced just hours before the release of IFAW’s latest investigative report showing Internet trade in wildlife poses a significant and immediate threat to the survival of elephants and many other endangered species. Thank eBay for Banning All Trade in Ivory

10. Tomorrow starts ‘Wold Go Vegan Days’.